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Review: The Hercules XPS 2.1 40 Slim Portable Speaker Set

Speaker Set Offers Great Performance for Value

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Review: The Hercules XPS 2.1 40 Slim Portable Speaker Set

The Hercules XPS 2.140 Slim speaker set.

Photo © Guillemot Corporation S.A.

The Hercules XPS 2.140 Slim is one of the latest additions to Hercules' line of portable speaker sets.

The 2.140 Slim features two left-and-right satellites each rated at 8 watts and a 16-watt subwoofer. The magnetically shielded speakers are designed to work with PC computers, Macs, MP3 players, gaming consoles and basically any device with a headphone socket. Read on below for the full review.


Great sound: The Hercules XPS 2.140 Slim delivers excellent sound for its class. You get good clarity at the high end with the left-and-right satellite speakers while the wood-encased subwoofer rounds out the package by providing deep bass at the low end.

Affordability: At $59.99, the Hercules XPS 2.140 Slim offers great bang for the buck. Let's just say it isn't exactly easy to find speakers that delivers the same overall performance at that price. The set sounds like it should cost more than what it's selling for.

Separate adjustment: You can adjust the output of the satellite speakers and the subwoofer separately, which provides great flexibility with sound adjustment. Naturally, volume can still be adjusted via the device you're using as your music player.

Looks nice: The satellite speakers' slim profile is visually appealing, especially when placed right next to, say, a slim monitor. Overall, both the satellites and subwoofer feature nice, clean lines that flow well. The slimmer profile of the satellites also mean they don't take much space.


The Hercules XPS 2.140 Slim features separate controls for its satellite speakers and subwoofer.

Photo © Guillemot Corporation S.A.

Toppling issue: The Hercules XPS 2.140's slim design for its satellites comes at a price. It's quite easy for the left and right speakers to topple over, even on a smooth and solid surface. Set it on carpet and the issue becomes even more obvious. Also, while those product photos look nice and clean, one thing they don't clearly show are the device's wires. While wires are pretty much a necessary evil for speakers such as this, they also exacerbate the toppling issue with the left-and-right satellites.

Distortion at high volume: While the device can be pushed pretty hard while maintaining its sound quality, you do start getting distortion and crackling at high volume levels. Distortion on the satellite speakers can especially be magnified by certain equalizer settings.

No wireless remote: This is probably nitpicking on my part. But after finding myself getting off my bed several times while watching different clips to adjust for the changes in bass, I thought "Boy, it would be great if this thing had a wireless remote."


The Hercules XPS 2.140 Slim speaker set is a great overall performer for folks looking for meatier sound options for their computers and portable devices.

Depending on how you set up the device, the toppling issue with the satellite speakers can be a bit annoying. The speaker also has some limitations when it comes to high volume levels. But for the price you pay, this is about as good as you can get performancewise from a set of speakers.

Given its combination of performance and value, I highly recommend the Hercules XPS 2.140 Slim.

Disclosure: A review sample was provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy

The Hercules XPS 2.140 Slim's satellite speakers feature a sleek, skinny design.

Photo © Guillemot Corporation S.A.
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